Iranian security forces have killed at least 448 people since mid-September. The killings, over half of which were in ethnic minority regions, came amid the state’s crackdown on protests. The news about the number of killings comes on the same day Iran’s football team faces the USA in the World Cup.
Iran: nearly 500 citizens dead
As the Canary previously reported:
Iran has been shaken by over two months of protests sparked by the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Jîna Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest for allegedly breaching the strict dress code for women. Agence France-Presse (AFP) noted that the Iranian state could sentence 21 people to death over the protests.
Now, AFP reports that the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group has given an update on the number of people security forces have killed. IHR said that authorities have killed 448 people. Of these, 60 were children aged under 18, including 9 girls and 29 women. IHR said security forces killed 16 people in the past week alone. They slew 12 in Kurdish-populated areas, where protests have been particularly intense. The toll also rose after the deaths of people killed in previous weeks were verified and included, it added. The toll only includes citizens killed in the crackdown and not members of the security forces.
The UN Rights Council recently voted to establish a high-level fact-finding mission to probe the state’s crackdown. Iran’s authorities angrily rejected the UN probe – despite admitting to many of the killings. Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Tuesday 29 November that his forces had killed more than 300 people. This was the first time the authorities have acknowledged such a figure.
IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said:
Islamic republic authorities know full well that if they cooperate with the UN fact-finding mission, an even wider scale of their crimes will be revealed. That’s why their non-cooperation is predictable.
Security forces also killed large numbers of people in the western Kurdish-populated Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan provinces. There, authorities killed 53 and 51 people respectively. However, IHR said that more than half the deaths were recorded in regions populated by the Sunni Baluch or Kurdish ethnic minorities.
The greatest number of deaths were in the southeastern region, Sistan-Baluchistan. Authorities killed 128 people there after protests erupted following the death of Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini. Tehran’s morality police had arrested her, and the ensuing protests then fed into the nation-wide anger.
Featured image via BBC News – YouTube
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse
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